15 march 2010
According to the Canadian Real Estate Association announcement, the seasonally adjusted national home sales totalled 42,799 units in February (1.5% lower than January).
“This decline concerns mostly Vancouver, but it was partially compensated by an equally large gain in Toronto,” the association said. “Since there were no significant gains in sales activity elsewhere in Canada, the national figure became a bit lower.”
Association president Dale Ripplinger said that one of the main reasons of the activity decay can be the Winter Games in Vancouver.
March sales are expected to be an important indicator of the market success in the next few months, especially if we mention the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). Starting July 1, it will make real estate transactions more expensive.
“During the first half of the year the activity will remain the same in Ontario and B.C. Buyers are trying to cope with the introduction of the HST and future interest rate hikes”, – CREA President Dale Ripplinger.
Speaking about actual sales across the country (not seasonally adjusted), we should say that this month there was an increase of 44% from the same month last year – 36,275. New records were set in Quebec and Ontario.
The average price of all homes sold on the Multiple Listings Service was $335,655. It is 18.2% more than a year ago. The national weighted average price, compensating for provincial differences, showed a 15.6% increase.
The large gains are expected to pull back, because the numbers are compared to 2008, when the housing market was hit with the recession.
“Because of the recessionary decline and the following rebound for the Canadian resale market, year-over-year comparisons are going to continue shrinking,” CREA said.